We all enjoy the summer evenings when the temperature is perfect, the grill is hot and a cold drink is in hand while we sit on the deck. For many families it has become a meeting space to enjoy each other’s company and unwind. While we all deserve a nice evening on the deck, the safety and security below our feet should be a topic of discussion.
Over the course of the last decade, an estimated 4,600 people have been hospitalized due to deck accidents. Recently, a dozen individuals were rushed to the hospital after their deck collapsed; leaving many of them trapped under the debris.
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Unfortunately, decks are an often neglected portion of so many layouts and floorplans in a home. Hundreds and thousands of people just “assume” that the deck or patio porch is a stable and well-maintained area. However, wear and tear over the years creates an unsteady and dangerous foundation beneath your feet.
The North American Deck and Railing Association provide four (4) warning signs that all owners should pay attention to before enjoying a night out-back:
- The Ledger:
The ledger is a horizontal lumber beam that attaches to an existing wall. It is used to tie into the other construction elements. It is important to note if proper hardware has been used to attach to the ledger.
Look at the hardware of your deck. Do you see red rust? Corroded metal hardware? Do fasteners, metal posts or any other material seem worn? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, than the materials need to be replaced.
Is any of the wood untreated or decayed? Have a professional look at all connectors, joist hangers and guard posts. Be adamant that all items are evaluated before spending one moment on your deck.
Are the footers of the deck at the proper depth and width? Alignment is crucial!
These warning signs are to help become more educated as consumers and home owners. We suggest that a professional inspection is made annually on any deck as it could prevent injury or death. Please keep your family and friends safe by taking precautionary measures before enjoying an evening out on the deck!
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you or a loved one is injured on a patio or deck collapse, please contact Kaine Law so that our personal injury team can go to work for you. Remember, there is no fee unless we win for you!